Miscellaneous:  Time Zone Travel Question

itsmevic
itsmevic used Ask the Experts™
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Curious if there are any seasoned travelers out there that could offer a little input here.   I am traveling to Singapore soon, departing on Saturday from a CST zone and will return that following Saturday.   What would be the most optimal time of the day on Saturday to depart that would ensure me a little recovery time before Monday morning @ 8am?   Thanks.

i.e. The earliest flight out on Saturday and the latest flight on the return perhaps?  What are your thoughts?
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Your body's natural response to time zone changes will be challenged by this nearly 12-hour shift. I'm not sure there are enough different flights to offer you much choice about the travel times, but I would advocate trying to shift your schedule at least partway in advance of your first departure. Otherwise, you'll likely find the first couple of days in Singapore to be somewhat miserable.
I will attempt to answer for you. I used to do a lot of international travel for work. I would go to Taiwan and the Philippines. I have only been to Singapore once.

Singapore, for me, was 16 hours of flight time out of LAX. I would assume it would be at least 18 for you coming out of the Central Time Zone. This was a direct flight on Singapore Air.

When flying to Asia, I would typically find that I could get minimal sleep on my way to Asia and recover. I would leave on Saturday in the early AM; This would put you in Singapore Sunday evening. The more you stay awake through the night and sleep during the day (flight time) you will acclimate a lot easier for when you land. It is significant flight time...you will be tired, but I never found an easy way to do it...I traveled to Asia once a quarter for a few years straight. This was the best approach for me, but everyone is different.

The weirdest part is the flight home. Time stands still. You leave on Friday at 8am and arrive Friday at 7am. You gain an hour on the way back. This was LAX, but you get the picture. The easiest way to recover from jet lag on the way home is to stay up through the night. Don't go to sleep. Fall asleep after you board and sleep 8-10 hours on the plane. You will arrive and have a good day. You get tired at about 7pm and crash. I always woke up fresh on Saturday morning without missing a beat.

Hope this helps.
I worked in this field : commercial vehicle driver fatigue/effects of fatigue on drivers/shift work/circadian rhythm/

Sleep Disorders Health Center: Sleep, Travel, and Jet Lag: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-travel
Coping With Jet Lag

To avoid jet lag, it is important to adapt yourself to the routine of your destination's time zone as soon as possible. The following suggestions might help you avoid sleep problems when traveling:
 - Several days before traveling, try to gradually adjust your sleeping habits to the destination time zone.
 - As soon as you board the flight, reset your watch for the new time zone.
etc...

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Thank you.

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